Mike Smith wipes out review by throwing red flag


For weeks, NBC officiating consultant Jim Daopoulos has been explaining in the NBC viewing room that, if a coach throws the red challenge flag under circumstances where a review would be initiated by the replay assistant, the team that throws the red flag incurs an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty — and the replay review won’t happen at all.

That’s exactly what happened in Atlanta today.

After a fumble by Falcons running back Jason Snelling that was bouncing out of bounds before being thrown back in by Cardinals defensive back Greg Toler and recovered by Arizona, Falcons coach Mike Smith threw the red flag.

Because the red flag was thrown before the replay process was initiated, referee Bill Vinovich explained that the Falcons would be penalized, and that the review wouldn’t occur at all.

It looked close; arguably, there was insufficient evidence to overturn the call on the field.  But the question became moot, given that Smith threw the red flag when he should have kept it in his pocket.

10 responses to “Mike Smith wipes out review by throwing red flag

  1. That has to be one of the dumbest rules I’ve ever heard of.

    Isn’t the point of the review to actually get the call right, rather than punish a team on some BS basis?

  2. The NFL needs to get rid of this whole challenge system. If its really to make sure the correct call is made, who cares how the replay is initiated. Just review every play and take it out of the coaches hands or don’t review anything. This mixed crap with certain plays out of the coaches hands while other plays they’ve got 10 seconds to make a judgement call on something that will potentially have a huge contrived impact on the game. This is coming from a Packer fan who doesn’t really care either who wins this Falcons/Cardinals game; just a fan of good, well played football.

  3. one of the dumbest rules. isn’t the point of the whole review process to get the call right? such rich mckay will have that looked at in the offseason.

  4. Certainly this rule was given some discussion and thought before they put it in the book but how could the league not see this coming? This example is a ridiculous loophole. Just ridiculous.

  5. I could have sworn I saw a game earlier this year where a coaoach threw a challenge flag on a turnover, yet no penalty was called and the replay still reviewed the play, anyone else remember it?

  6. The Falcons and their coach are frauds. Enjoy your regular season success. Everybody knows what the playoffs will bring.

  7. Seriously, though. Shouldn’t teams have a replay assistant? Someone whose job it is to know these rules? Someone who could interject and say coach, you can’t do that!

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